Border Patrol agents seized an ultralight aircraft with almost $500,000 worth of methamphetamine and fentanyl Thursday night southeast of Tucson, officials said. 

Air and Marine Operations agents detected an unknown aircraft around 11 p.m. and directed Border Patrol units under its path, according to a Friday U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.

Agents found the aircraft abandoned near a rural dirt road with two large plastic boxes attached. K-9 units inspected the aircraft and found methamphetamine packages in the boxes, the release said.  

Agents took the aircraft and boxes to the Nogales Border Patrol station for testing and found the packages contained more than 143 pounds of meth and more than 200 grams, or about 7 ounces, of fentanyl. 

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An Air and Marine Operations helicopter crew searched the area but was unable to find a potential pilot for the aircraft, the release said.

Contact reporter Stephanie Casanova at On Twitter: @CasanovaReports


Stephanie is a Tucson native and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2014. She worked for newspapers in Rapid City, South Dakota; Manhattan, Kansas; and Lake Havasu City before moving back to Tucson.